Getting Motivated After the Holidays

I am out of excuses. The next holiday is Valentine’s Day and I can’t conceivably extend my holiday half-day work schedule until then. I have to go back to my normal 50 hour work week and quit putting things off. But my fingers don’t want to cooperate on the keyboard, and I can hear the siren call from several books I got for Christmas. I need to focus, and I’m finding it impossible. There are so many things I have to do but there are also so many things I want to do. First and foremost, I want to start a new novel. I want to dive in and lose myself in the depths of a first draft. I also want to create a couple of new apps I’ve thought of that I think have a lot of marketing potential. I also want to check things off my To Do list without actually spending the time to do them. I just want them done. Has anyone figured that one out yet? Unfortunately, my lotto ticket didn’t win so I need to get some of my freelance jobs cleared away. The looming holiday bills should be motivation enough, but for some reason, this time, the possibility of debtor’s prison lacks it’s usual kick-start factor. Maybe it’s been too long since I last read a Regency. Whatever the reason, I need to come up with a new motivation system to get back to work. So this year I’ve decided to try the carrot instead of the stick. I’m going to reward myself with something I want to do after I finish...

When No Character Arc Works

I recently watched Wall-e (yes, I asked for it for Christmas—it’s one of my favorite movies) and I realized that Wall-e doesn’t have a character arc. He basically stays the same character throughout the movie. Yes, he falls in love, but that’s not a character arc. Wall-e wanted to fall in love and he did, given the opportunity. He didn’t have to overcome some internal struggle to do it. He had to convince Eve that he loved her, but again, that’s not a character arc. What he did, though, was influence every other character in the story to grow and be more than they were. The greatest change was in Eve. She grew to believe in love and embrace it. Wall-e influenced all of the robots (with the exception of auto-pilot and his minion) to go beyond their programming and try new things simply by being himself. He even influenced the humans to go beyond their programming and routine. Ultimately, he brought out the best in everyone because they could see the purity and goodness that was within him. He gave everyone a chance at a new life by his example. Off hand I can ‘t think of any other story where the main character doesn’t have a character arc and it works. Usually, not having a character arc is the problem with the story. However, I’ve watched Wall-e probably 20 times and it only occurred to me after this last viewing that he doesn’t have a character arc. And it’s not that he lacks one, he simply doesn’t need it. He’s perfect, which, again, is usually a flaw...